Frequently asked questions relating to King's Cross leasehold conveyancing
I am in need of some leasehold conveyancing in King's Cross. Before I get started I require certainty as to the unexpired term of the lease.
Assuming the lease is recorded at the land registry - and almost all are in King's Cross - then the leasehold title will always include the basic details of the lease, namely the date; the term; and the original parties. From a conveyancing perspective such details then enable any prospective buyer and lender to confirm that any lease they are looking at is the one relevant to that title.For any other purpose, such as confirming how long the term was granted for and calculating what is left, then the register should be sufficient on it's own.
I today plan to offer on a house that appears to be perfect, at a great price which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that the title is leasehold as opposed to freehold. I would have thought that there are particular concerns buying a house with a leasehold title in King's Cross. Conveyancing solicitors have are about to be instructed. Will my lawyers set out the risks of buying a leasehold house in King's Cross ?
Most houses in King's Cross are freehold and not leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local solicitor used to dealing with such properties who can help the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in King's Cross so you should seriously consider looking for a King's Cross conveyancing practitioner and be sure that they are used to transacting on leasehold houses. As a matter of priority you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a tenant you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want to the property. The lease will likely included provisions such as obtaining the landlord’spermission to conduct changes to the property. You may also be required to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the communal areas where the property is part of an estate. Your conveyancer will appraise you on the various issues.
Last month I purchased a leasehold property in King's Cross. Do I have any liability for service charges for periods before completion of my purchase?
Where the service charge has already been demanded from the previous lessee and they have not paid you would not usually be personally liable for the arrears. Strange as it may seem, your landlord may still be able to take action to forfeit the lease. It is an essential part of leasehold conveyancing for your conveyancer to ensure to have an up to date clear service charge receipt before completion of your purchase. If you have a mortgage this is likely to be a requirement of your lender.
If you purchase part way through an accounting year you may be liable for charges not yet demanded even if they relate to a period prior to your purchase. In such circumstances your conveyancer would normally arrange for the seller to set aside some money to cover their part of the period (usually called a service charge retention).
I work for a reputable estate agency in King's Cross where we have witnessed a few leasehold sales jeopardised as a result of leases having less than 80 years remaining. I have been given contradictory information from local King's Cross conveyancing solicitors. Can you clarify whether the vendor of a flat can initiate the lease extension process for the purchaser on completion of the sale?
Provided that the seller has been the owner for at least 2 years it is possible, to serve a Section 42 notice to kick-start the lease extension process and assign the benefit of the notice to the purchaser. This means that the proposed purchaser need not have to sit tight for 2 years for a lease extension. Both sets of lawyers will agree to form of assignment. The assignment needs to be completed prior to, or at the same time as completion of the sale.
An alternative approach is to extend the lease informally by agreement with the landlord either before or after the sale. If you are informally negotiating there are no rules and so you cannot insist on the landlord agreeing to grant an extension or transferring the benefit of an agreement to the buyer.
Can you offer any advice when it comes to choosing a King's Cross conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?
If you are instructing a conveyancer for lease extension works (regardless if they are a King's Cross conveyancing practice) it is imperative that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you make enquires with several firms including non King's Cross conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. Where the conveyancing practice is ALEP accredited then so much the better. Some following of questions might be useful:
- If the firm is not ALEP accredited then why not?
I have attempted and failed to negotiate with my landlord for a lease extension without any joy. Can a leaseholder apply to the Leasehold Valuation Tribunal? Can you recommend a King's Cross conveyancing firm to represent me?
Absolutely. We are happy to put you in touch with a King's Cross conveyancing firm who can help.
An example of a Lease Extension decision for a King's Cross residence is Flat 89 Trinity Court Grays Inn Road in February 2013. the Tribunal found that the premium to be paid by the tenant on the grant of a new lease, in accordance with section 56 and Schedule 13 to the Leasehold Reform, Housing and Urban Development Act 1993 should be £36,229. This case related to 1 flat. The the unexpired term as at the valuation date was 66.8 years.